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Taxi network leverages NFC, QR codes to make video brand engagements interactive

Taxi riders in New York, San Francisco and other cities will soon be able to use their smartphones to engage with brand content appearing on video screens inside the cabs using either NFC or QR code technology.

Passengers will see video or static messages on the enhanced media screens inside taxis and will be prompted to either tap their phone against the frame of the screen or point their phone at the screen. The program is will begin rolling out to taxis on June 1 and is expected to be available in 5,000 taxis by Sept. 1.

?Taxis are a perfect venue for user engagement via mobile as there is a personal and often one-on-one interaction between the rider and the digital screen,? said Mikhail Damiani, CEO/cofounder of Blue Bite, New York.

?This mobile enhancement gives brands the ability to further that conversation from simply an impression or a view to an experience and will allow the user to take something away with them after the taxi ride,? he said.

Location-specific content
The mobile media program is the result of a partnership between Creative Mobile Technologies, an out-of-home digital network, and Blue Bite, which offers mobile out-of-home solutions. The partnership will make Blue Bite?s proprietary mTAG platform available in taxis in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Anaheim.

The taxi network will offer news, weather and sports information as well as brand content from studios and an apparel company. Discussions are underway with additional advertisers.

Riders with an NFC-enabled smartphone will be able to tap their phone on the video screen?s frame to instantly download rich user content such as music, videos, mobile apps, promotional information, coupons, maps and tips.

Users without an NFC-enabled phone will be able to snap a picture of the QR code that appears to access the same content.

The content will be location-specific and users will be able to share the campaigns with friends through social media.

Driving engagement levels
Adding mobile engagement to marketing communications already being delivered on the out-of-home network gives advertisers a way to make their ads more interactive and drive engagement levels.

Using Blue Bite?s real-time mobile content and analytics, advertisers will be able to optimize their campaigns and react to market situations.

?The NFC/QR will allow brands to take advantage of multiple types of interactions including the promotion of their products with rich media, video trailers, coupons, application downloads, and much more,? Mr. Damiani said.

?Taxi passengers will see a video call to action on the screen instructing them to Tap or Scan below for the content,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York